The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Wednesday, August 26, 2009]

Back to Work


Two days down, uh... Yup, back to work. I wasn't sure I wanted to go, and not because I don't like my job but because I just wanted to hang out. Now I'm wondering what on earth I did all summer and how I even enjoyed having so much unstructured time. I'm happy to be back at work! When I was at Dayton Oaks yesterday, it did not feel like it had been over two months since I had seen everyone. Just felt like home. What a difference from last year, when I didn't know the people or the job.. because let's be honest, working in Utah and working in Maryland is like night and day. Maryland being day.

But I'm sort of in that position now at Waverly, because I had met some of the people there once or twice but really didn't know anyone (luckly I at least know the job now). I can tell that I will get along great with the teacher of the deaf, Cindy, and her instructional assistant. That is a relief. Between sharing an office and all the service hours our kiddos have, we will be seeing a lot of each other. Oh, and Cindy is helping me get on an interpreter list for Howard County, so I could get a few night or weekend gigs. Yay! Hope there are no issues with me being a contract person (rolling my eyes).

Today I had a training session in nonviolent crisis prevention intervention, and I loved it! Seriously, all SLPs, special educators, and administrators should have the first part of this training. The second part is about handling physically aggressive behavior, which hopefully you would not need with a parent. But the first part is about handling verbal behavior, preventing and defusing situations before they escalate. So valuable. Actually, I think it might help me deal with some family members... ha. I wasn't sure I should even attend this workshop, but now I find myself looking forward to more CPI training tomorrow.

So I'm pretty happy to be productive again--I think it was time. I am really looking forward to my Pals team meeting on Monday, so that hopefully I can get my Pals caseload, and therefore my schedule, squared away. And can't wait to see all the wonderful Pals people.

Hopefully I can look back at this post in April, when I'm mired in reevals, my Pals caseload has ballooned, and there is nary a break in sight, and know that I AM happy to be at work and I DO like my job.

[Tuesday, August 25, 2009]

Good Start


Laynie got her second cochlear implant activated, and she's already able to identify the Ling Sounds (s, sh, m, ee, oo, ah) with over 80% accuracy. It took about two months to get to that point with the first implant. Good start? Great start!

A Little Disappointed


I saw my dermatologist again yesterday. He told me that he was a little disappointed that my skin hadn't cleared up very much yet. Um, yeah, same here. He thinks it will just suddenly become much clearer, like practically overnight. Either that or he'll have to up the dose. Huh? Picklefrance, as McConn would say. At least my forehead and nose have only had maybe two zits this summer, compared with SEVERAL EVERY DAY, like they used to get. Like my stubborn jaw and chin still get. The medicine seems to be working from the top of my face to the bottom.

Dr. Damm managed to take my blood with minimal digging around, which I appreciated. Let me say again that I love having a dermatologist who used to be a phlebotomy tech... one stop shopping.

After my pregnancy test came back negative (duh), I got to take the FDA-mandated online quiz, which is always fun. The questions are different every month; here are a couple from the one I took today.

I got 100% on this quiz. I won't give away the answers, in case you, dear reader, are also jumping through the Accutane hoops. You're going to have to apply your intellect, as did I.

[Monday, August 24, 2009]

Making Donuts


A couple of weeks ago, I had Morgan and McConn spend the night at my place, while they were visiting their grandma in Annapolis. We played games, talked, and read about 1,000 bedtime stories. In the morning, we made donuts for breakfast. Carson stayed on the boat with Grandma and her boyfriend, so he missed out on the fun. However, he got to have a diner breakfast with Daddy, Mommy, Grandma, and Leon all to himself, so I don't think he got such a bad deal.

The girls were pretty excited to wear aprons. Morgan immediately went for the Irish one (she's half Irish, as am I); McConn tried on three aprons before settling on a nice floral. However, McConn did point out that she's sort of Irish, because "McConn" is an Irish name. She'll make a great lawyer someday.

Morgan takes a donut out of the oil, while McConn eats her first "munchkin."

Pretty girl.

McConn took charge of things pretty quickly. She had done a cooking workshop before, and she had a good feel for it. Morgan didn't mind, though. She wanted the job of dipping the donuts in sugar.

Morgan put the donuts in the pot, and McConn took it from there.

Morgie took a break to talk on her very own cell phone. She is a big girl.

Meanwhile, Coonie slaved away at the stove.

Golden brown. Nice work, kid.

McConn didn't mind having an audience. She was confident in her cooking skills.

Enjoying the fruits of her labors.

[Wednesday, August 19, 2009]

The Day I Return to Work Draws Nigh


[Tuesday, August 11, 2009]

What's Up With Kids Growing Up?


Ah, nostalgia. Actually, this is a gratuitous pictures post. Here are some pictures from
August 2004, at Cape Cod.

Morgan was four and a half years old. I used to braid her hair every day,
because she looked so darned cute.

On a seal-watching trip. We did see seals, and they were awesome.

Being a patient big sister while her brother perseverates on the car.

Carson was 18 months old.

Carson wasn't really talking yet, but he got his needs met through whining.
Here he is with his main interests at the time: a cell phone and a car.

This was about a minute later. In the car, happy as a clam.
He could stay there for hours. We used to joke that Carson was aptly named.

Carson has amazing eyes. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of him.

It's amazing how much the kids have changed.
Carson is older now than Morgan was in these pictures.
You can see current pictures of the kids here.

And a bonus picture: me.

Younger, thinner, blonder (natural hair color) me. Sigh.

[Friday, August 7, 2009]

Lucky I Guess


I have noticed that many people get quite a bit of hair shaved when they have cochlear implant surgery. I figured maybe it depended what area of the country or which hospital, that different hospitals might do different things. But I've recently seen three different people in the blogosphere who had CI surgery at Johns Hopkins, just like Laynie, but who had tons of hair shaved for their surgery.

This picture of Laynie is from three days after the surgery. By the way, I deliberately chose a picture that was a little blurry on the incision area, so the squeamish will not be grossed out. You're welcome. But here's what you should attend to: hardly any hair is shaved! It was the same with her first surgery. They buzz a small area (it's not shaved smooth) and slick the rest of the hair away from the surgical site with waxy stuff, which is a pain in the neck to wash out but infinitely superior to having a third of her hair shaved. This is the reason Laynie was able to go to school the day after her surgery without anyone knowing where on her body she had had surgery. I wonder why some people have a lot of hair shaved and some don't. I suppose it depends on the surgeon. Laynie is just lucky, I guess.

Just for fun, here are some more pictures from after the surgery.

Laynie accidentally wore her processor into the OR, and the nurses had to think fast about where to put it. Cool how the coil is up against the metal lid, right?

This is Laynie's bed after surgery.

This is mine. I did end up scrounging up a pillow.

Here is the chart I made for Laynie. She did not miss a dose of her antibiotics.

[Sunday, August 2, 2009]

All Alone


Laynie is in Austria with her parents and sister, visiting her grandmother. That means I am alone for the next two weeks. Well, not exactly two weeks, because I'll visit some friends at the Jersey Shore next week and then they'll come here and we'll go to Annapolis. But I have a week and a half alone. I don't mind. I love alone time! Of course, I will miss Laynie, and I wouldn't want to live alone for any great length of time. Alone can turn into lonely. But I love feeling independent and doing whatever I please, so it's nice to be alone sometimes.